Sept. 29, 2009
GAME #4: The USD Toreros (2-1; 1-0 pfl), coming off a bye week, travel to Indianapolis, Indiana this Saturday, October 3rd, to take on the Butler Bulldogs (4-0; 1-0 pfl) in a Pioneer Football League contest. Kickoff is slated for 10:00 a.m. (PST) at Butler Bowl (3,000). The Toreros return to the midwest on October 10th to take on the Valparaiso Crusaders (1-2).
SERIES RECORD: This is 17th meeting between these two schools with the Toreros owning a 12-4 advantage, including seven straight victories... Last year the Toreros won in San Diego on November 15th, 34-17... WR John Matthews hauled in 14 receptions for 187 yards and 2 TDs; RB Matt Jelmini scampered 104 yards on 14 carries and 1 TD; and LB Loka Kanongataa led the defense with 11 tackles.
RADIO/INTERNET: Saturday's contest will air live on San Diego 1700 AM with Jack Cronin calling the action. The pre-game will begin at 9:40 a.m. (PST).
PFL STANDINGS/SCHEDULE FOR OCT. 3RD: Butler (1-0 PFL; 4-0), Drake (1-0; 2-1), San Diego (1-0; 2-1), Davidson (1-0; 1-2), Dayton (0-0; 2-1), Valparaiso (0-0; 1-2), Jacksonville (0-0; 1-2), Morehead State (0-1; 2-2), Campbell (0-1; 1-2), Marist (0-2; 1-3) . This week's games: San Diego at Butler, Davidson at Jacksonville, Dayton at Morehead State, Campbell at Marist, Valparaiso at Drake.
TRUJILLO LEAVES FOOTBALL PROGRAM: Senior quarterback Sebastian Trujillo (Durango, CO), a pre-season Payton Watch Award candidate, has left the USD football program for personal reasons. Through three starts this season for the 2-1 Toreros, Trujillo had completed 32-of-58 passes (55.2%) for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns. Last year he earned First Team All-PFL honors and team MVP honors after ranking first in the PFL in passing average (256.5 yards per game) and passing efficiency (160.2 rating). He completed 239-of-358 passes for 2,822 yards and 35 touchdowns.
JOHNSON TABBED TAMPA STARTER FOR SUNDAY AT WASHINGTON: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Monday that second-year pro and former USD standout Josh Johnson (Oakland, CA) will start on Sunday at Washington. Rookie Josh Freeman moves up to No. 2 on the depth chart and Byron Leftwich will be the third quarterback. Coach Raheem Morris made the announcement a day after the Bucs fell to 0-3 while gaining just 86 yards total offense in a 24-0 loss to the New York Giants. Leftwich completed 7 of 16 passes for 22 yards and one interception. Morris said he feels Johnson has earned a chance to start against the Redskins. Leftwich was replaced in the fourth quarter after going just 7-of-16 for 22 yards and one interception. Johnson played one fourth-quarter series, completing 4 of 10 passes for 36 yards and leading a drive that stalled on downs at New York's 5-yard line. He also finished as Tampa Bay's leading rusher, scrambling for a 15-yard gain on his only attempt, but the Bucs couldn't avoid being shut out for the first time since losing their 2006 season opener 27-0 to Baltimore. Johnson, who has the advantage of an added year of NFL experience over Freeman, has made impressive strides during his first full offseason this past spring and summer. A fifth-round draft pick out of USD in 2008, Johnson made the 53-man roster as a rookie but was inactive for every game. As a collegian in the FCS subdivision, he put up enormous numbers, including an NCAA FCS career record passing efficiency of 176.68. Johnson also ran for 1,864 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Toreros. As a senior, Johnson posted an incredible 43-1 touchdown-interception ratio while also rushing for 726 yards. Tampa Bay has lost seven straight dating to a 0-4 December that cost it a playoff berth last season.
SCUDELLARI LEADS 2nd HALF RALLY OVER MARIST, 17-10 (Sept. 19th): Down 10-3 at halftime, head coach Ron Caragher inserted redshirt freshman QB Sam Scudellari into the lineup for the 2nd half and he responded by directing USD to two scoring drives... On their second possession the Toreros put together a 12-play, 65-yard drive that took just over six minutes that was capped off with JT Rogan's 2-yard TD run... During the drive Rogan carried the ball eight times, while Scudellari completed two first down plays to Godfrey Smith (14 yards) and Eric Fiege (8 yards)... With the game knotted at 10-all, USD started its game-winning drive with 2:36 left in the game... Scudellari hit WR John McGough up the middle for a huge 43-yard completion down to the Marist 24-yard line... After back-to-back Rogan rushes the Toreros faced third and 12 from the 26-yard line... Scudellari took the snap and rolled to his right, and immediately looked back left and connected with TE Patrick Doyle who was wide open; Doyle sprinted up the left side into the end zone untouched for the game winner... The Torero defense was solid the entire game, and in the 4th period limited the Red Foxes to two long FG attempts... The Toreros were paced by Loka Kanongatta (9 tackles), Derek Pilkington (8 stops), LB Joe Martin (7 tackles, 1 QB sack) and safety Mike Bogard (6 tackles, 1 pass breakup).
TORERO TIDBITS: As a team the Toreros rank 1st among PFL teams in kickoff returns (29.5 ave.)... Kyle Negrete leads the PFL and ranks 3rd in the nation in punting (44.4 ave.)... JT Rogan ranks 2nd in the PFL in kick return average (29.5 ave.) and 3rd in All-Purpose yardage (121.7)... Defensively the Toreros are paced by LB Loka Kanongataa and SS Derek Pilkington, each with 22 tackles - they both are tied for 15th among PFL tacklers... The Toreros received good news following their 17-10 win over Marist - junior DT Paul Tremblay was taken away by ambulance as a precaution in the 2nd half of play after he suffered a stinger to the neck area... He was released that evening and is projected to be back in the starting lineup against the Butler Bulldogs... Last year the Toreros were 3-1 in away games with its lone loss a 30-29 defeat at Jacksonville, the eventual PFL champion... USD's win over Marist was Coach Caragher's 20th in 25 games (80% wins).
TOREROS PFL FAVORITES: USD was picked to win the PFL title in the preseason PFL Coaches poll, receiving 5 first place votes and 77 points... USD was followed by Dayton (3), 71 points; Jacksonville (2), 71 points; Morehead St., 51 points; Butler, 42 points; Drake, 40 points; Davidson, 37 points; Marist, 32 points; Valparaiso, 20 points, and Campbell, 9 points.
2009 TORERO TEAM CAPTAINS NAMED: The following threeToreros were tabbed as 2009 team captains by their teammates. Offensive captain is running back JT Rogan (Coronado, CA), while the defensive captains are cornerback Gabriel Derricks (Oak Park, CA) and defensive end Kevin Dunn (Santa Barbara, CA). Rogan was selected a team captain last year as well.
TORERO SUCCESS THE PAST SIX YEARS: USD football has accomplished some outstanding highlights over the past six years, most notably its 55-12 combined record (.821 winning percentage) and 29-5 PFL record (.852 winning percentage). In two of the past three seasons USD has led all FCS team in scoring, including a program-best 44.4 average in 2007. All told, USD has had 23 Sports Network Mid-Major All-Americans and 47 First Team All-Pioneer Football League honorees.
LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK: The Toreros return to the state of Indiana next week, October 10th, when they take on the Valparaiso Crusaders in a 11:00 a.m. (PST) contest at Brown Field (5,000). USD returns to Torero Stadium on Oct. 17th to face Drake in its annual Homecoming game (2 pm).